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INTERVIEW: Wacław ‘Vogg’ Kiełtyka – Decapitated

Since their triumphant return in 2011 with Carnival Is Forever, DECAPITATED have gone from strength to strength particularly with their most recent release Blood Mantra which has catapulted the band to new heights playing some high profile shows supporting LAMB OF GOD amongst others. They are now due to unleash their latest bundle of brutality in the form of new album Anticult which is due for release on July 7th via Nuclear Blast Records. We had the opportunity to speak to founding member and long standing guitarist Vogg Kiełtyka for his thoughts on what to expect from the new album, their impending appearance at Bloodstock Festival and what the future holds for DECAPITATED.

You have just completed the Crush The North tour with VADER, how was it?

Vogg: It was amazing! It’s always great to meet up with the VADER guys. Those guys are legends and have always been a huge inspiration for me, especially when I was a young metalhead. They were a huge influence for our first couple of albums so was great to meet up with Piotr and the rest of the guys. Amazing tour, amazing times. Scandinavia is a great part of Europe and we love to play there.

How do you feel you have progressed as a band since Blood Mantra?

Vogg: I think we have made another step forward with our production and with our arrangements. There’s a few new surprising elements going on, on the Antikult album. We revisit similar styles to the Organic Hallucinosis album in a few riffs. We feel like we are modern extreme metal with lots of groove which is more catchy and melodic but still as heavy as shit! It has a lot of diversity, every song is different. We have raised the band up another level and I can’t wait to see the fans reaction for the full album because right now we have released 2 songs and the reaction has been really positive, better than I expected. People really like and finally understand the way we have evolved since 2010 with the new lineup and everything and that’s really cool for me.

I’m glad the fans have had the opportunity to hear Earth Scar before the full release as to me its probably the best representation of the album as a whole. 

Vogg: Thanks a lot man! Earth Scar and Never are a very good representation for sure. It’s hard to choose as every song is different but I think we made a good choice.

So Anticult clocks in at around the 40 minute mark, was it always your intentions to make a short and snappy album?

Vogg: Oh yeah definitely, it was intentional to make it a bit shorter than Blood Mantra and I think it works well this way. 40 minutes is enough for a DECAPITATED record, you can find everything on this album and all of the characteristics of DECAPITATED‘s style. Organic Hallucinosis is considered to be our best album and that is only 32 minutes long! So its all about the quality and not the quantity for me.

Do you feel since the reincarnation of DECAPITATED that you have somewhat stepped away from the traditional death metal sound and developed a more diverse sound as a result?

Vogg: Our aim for our new sound is to get heavier and heavier and we look for a heavy sound when I go about writing a metal song. They may be less technical but if you play with less notes and a little less technicality you can actually write bigger, heavier riffs and that’s the main direction in my music. I don’t know a lot of people are missing the really technical stuff as technical music isn’t always that special now! When I was really young and a teenager I was trying to show how good I was on guitar so I could meet some chicks and show how fast my fingers are and how good I was! I’m definitely not like that anymore. I’m looking more for interesting melodies and interesting riffs going on and the structure of the songs. I can still play very fucking technical stuff but I don’t feel like I need to show off anymore.

…Yeah at times less is definitely more.

Vogg: Yeah man! Of course. Especially when you play guitar and you play a tube amplifier. You come to the conclusion that it’s easier to write big, easy riffs it works much better than writing 1000 sounds in a second. I wan’t to discover new territories with my sounds and I still want to be heavy as hell! I’m a big fan of Dimebag Darrell and I don’t think he was a really technical guitar player. He played really simple riffs!

…It was just the way he utilised his instrument. 

Vogg: Yeah! He showed more in the solo’s but in the riffs he was looking for simplicity. Look at 5 Minutes Alone or I’m Broken, they are such a fucking simple set of riffs but people love them! Why? …because its catchy, its heavy and its entertaining. It’s good music! It’s the same with bands like SLAYER and RAMMSTEIN. I want to go in that direction, I’m not interested in showing people me playing 10,000 notes at once [laughs].

You’ve just introduced a new bassist to the band in Hubert Więcek, did he influence the writing style on the record at all?

Vogg: He did a great job and brought some fresh air into the band, he’s a really cool guy and has a great sense of humour. He brought some new toys, like guitar effects… he’s a bit of a guitar freak! [laughs]. He didn’t bring any music ideas to the Anticult album but he is very new to the band so he has plenty of time for that. to bring new ideas for the future.

DECAPITATED are returning to the UK this summer for Bloodstock Festival, your first festival appearance in the UK for a few years. Are you looking forward to it?

Vogg: Oh man, I cannot wait! It’s an amazing festival, we have never really done that many festivals in the UK. I think Bloodstock was our first open air festival in the UK! We have done a tonne of shows…like club shows but Bloodstock was the first time and I love it, I love to play open air festivals and Bloodstock is one of my favourites. I can’t wait to do it again!

Can the fans expect to hear any new material?

Vogg: Oh yeah! Definitely, we will definitely be playing the two new songs, Earth Scar and Never and maybe we will add a couple of others are we will be playing Bloodstock just before our US tour so it will be a good opportunity to warm those tracks up before a big tour. We are hoping to play about four or five songs from Anticult on that tour, you can expect some old classics too!

When touring and playing festivals when time is at a bit of a premium do you feel like there are any certain pressures to ensure you play the likes of Spheres Of Madness, Day 69 etc? Or do you feel it is more important to play the new material?

Vogg: I love playing new material but songs like Spheres of Madness and Day 69 will always be in our setlist, I love to play them. They always work well as they are both crazy…catchy riffs and it gets the crowd fired up. It sounds old compared to the new sound as we now play 7 string guitars now but they still work well. We will always play those songs live as we respect all fans of DECAPITATED. New and old. We have changed style now compared to what we did before but we always remember the old fans!

What are your plans for the remainder of 2017? Any tours in the works apart from the US tour?

Vogg: We are going to play Canada as well as touring America then we will hit Europe and return to the UK for a tour closer to the end of the year, say October/November time. London and a few other dates so yeah we will bring some of the new material that’s for sure.

I’ll look forward to it! What are your goals for the future of DECAPITATED? There can’t be many goals left to tick off your bucket list!

Vogg: We just want to play as much shows as possible and continue to make good music for the people! [laughs].

Thank you for your time Vogg, it’s been a pleasure. Just one more question. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Distorted Sound?

Vogg: To all the UK fans of DECAPITATED. We have known you guys for many many years now, almost 17 years since our debut and we have had a lot of history throughout that time but the UK has always been one of the best places to play and come back to. I hope you will like our new piece of shit Anticult and we will bring you some more of our extreme metal in October/November for our headlining tour. I can’t wait to visit you guys and I hope to meet some new faces along with some of my long time, great friends there.

Thank you Vogg!

Vogg: Thank you man, all the best!

Anticult is due for release on July 7th via Nuclear Blast Records.

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